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FBD more than doubles provisions for lockdown insurance claims

·1-min read

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish insurer FBD more than doubled the money set aside to cover lockdown-linked claims to 65 million euros ($79 million) after it lost a test case brought by four publicans over a policy that included business-interruption losses.

Ireland's High Court ruled on Feb. 5 that the publicans were entitled to be indemnified for losses incurred while shut for large parts of the past 11 months because of COVID-19 restrictions. FBD had sold the policy in question to about 1,300 publicans.

FBD estimated in July that the claims would cost 30 million euros and said on Friday that the increased provision included estimated net claims of 54 million euros and a further 11 million euros assumed for a reinsurance reinstatement premium.

It said the effects of the judgment were being considered with reinsurance partners to finalise how much they will cover of gross claims costs - including legal and other expenses - that are currently estimated at about 150 million euros.

The court is still considering the how to quantify the policyholders' losses.

FBD's full-year profit before tax fell to 4.8 million euros in 2020, down from 112.5 million euros a year earlier, Ireland's only domestically listed insurer said on Friday, mainly as a result of the increased provisions.

($1 = 0.8235 euros)

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by David Goodman)